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The Dance of the MusesChoral Theory and Ancient Greek Poetics$
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A. P. David

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199292400

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199292400.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 21 October 2021

The Genesis of Homeric Poetry (a Brief Synthesis): The ‘Intemporizing’ Cataloguer

The Genesis of Homeric Poetry (a Brief Synthesis): The ‘Intemporizing’ Cataloguer

(p.208) 7 The Genesis of Homeric Poetry (a Brief Synthesis): The ‘Intemporizing’ Cataloguer
The Dance of the Muses

A. P. David

Oxford University Press

This chapter offers a natural history or ‘just so’ story of how Homeric poetry came about in place of the fantasy of generations of extemporizing bards, and the crudity of metrical building blocks. A key is the notion of the ‘intemporizing’ cataloguer, a storyteller who expands a given catalogue of people or events by inserting chiastic, ring-shaped narrative digressions between the catalogue elements, as though expanding an accordion. Both epic and lyric exhibit a ‘choral unfolding of linear myth’. The relation of artists to folk traditions is speculated on, and inferences are drawn for Homer in relation to ancient epic.

Keywords:   Homer, epic, extemporizing, lyric, choral, catalogue, ring composition, folk tradition

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